Last updated: 09:57 PM ET, Sun October 25 2015

Russia Grounding Second Biggest Airline Over Safety Concerns

Airlines & Airports | Michael Isenbek | October 25, 2015

Russia Grounding Second Biggest Airline Over Safety Concerns

Transaero, Russia’s second largest airline after Aeroflot will be officially grounded this Monday, Russian news agency TASS reported.

"The decree on revoking (the) Transaero operator certificate from October 26, 2015, was signed this morning," Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov revealed last Wednesday to Channel One Russia, TASS said.

Sokolov said that on the previous day, experts in the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency came to the conclusion that further airline activity was impossible after completing an assessment.

Mashable said the Ministry of Transport felt Transaero was in such bad shape financially that passenger safety was threatened if flights continued.

TASS noted that the beleaguered airline filed for bankruptcy Oct. 1 with a debt of $3.9 billion and Mashable mentioned Aeroflot’s decision last month to not purchase a controlling stake in Transaero for one ruble.

The carrier stopped selling tickets at this time, TASS said, and Aeroflot or other Russian airline will accommodate any Transaero flights booked up until Dec. 15. However, Transaero round-trip tickets with a departure date before Dec. 15 and a slated return after that date will be canceled, along with all bookings after that date.

Transaero, founded in 1990, doesn’t exactly leave a luminous legacy. The carrier received a 5/10 rating on airline ranking site Skytrax, and a sample passenger complaint from the site is representative of the airline’s reputation:

"Flight from Milan to Moscow was delayed more than six hours with no explanation," the flier wrote. "Complete absence of simple customer care and compensation.

"Staff ... got angry at people because they complained," they continued. "I'd better go by foot than fly again with this company."

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